Making It real
My story in attempting to bring a new housing type that improves affordability, livability & community resilience
I guess that a high proportion of people underestimate just how much documentation is needed within a building tender pricing schedule. I was over the drawings as I just wanted to start building. Clearly, the process of researching and challenging the system to squeeze some level of reasoning had exhausted me. That alone should have been enough. Also, managing the website and building an animation to help spread word brought a whole new level of work and commitment that I clearly underestimated. Even though I really enjoyed seeing how this came together (A big thanks to Devon, Don and Steve for helping me put it all together), it takes a lot more effort than you realise. Hopefully, if you have read this, you have seen it and if not, hopefully, you will. It is on my website front page. So how did finding a builder go?
There were several builders I was talking with to supply a quote whilst getting a feel in how they think and operate. It was going to be especially important that the builder I selected did not see this as another job but a challenge and interest to learn more. I wanted someone who always looked to become better at their craft. I felt the vibes I needed from Hartman Construction, and after working through the details, we hit the button and signed the agreement in xx 2020...right at the tail end of the national bushfires. I was doing much of my negotiations whilst holidaying in Bright, which rather than being calm and peaceful was one of heat and anxiety as I was continually checking the bush fire emergency app to see if I need to evacuate. As an urbanite, I can now say that you do not fully appreciate what a bush fire does to your physic until your life is threatened by this unpredictable force of nature. It is eerie like. It was certainly an omen for just how many bushfires I was going to have to deal with in the construction of a single house...and just what lay ahead in 2020
The first issue was getting the Loan approved. Wow, I knew Westpac was terrible, but this was ridiculous. I feel sorry for giving my mortgage broker a hard time, but just getting through the phone to Westpac was a joke and when finally getting through, they would hang up. All this was happening at the start of the Covid crises, and nothing seemed normal. My experience with the banks did expose to me just how much some were dependant on international support. I still find it amazing that it was a preference for the bank to send progress payments through fax to a place in South Australia and not through their website...what year is it again?! Westpac was responsible for delaying me by 8 weeks unnecessarily. It's a bitter pill to swallow when you know they would penalise me at a drop of a hat if I was a day late in repayment. It is not hard to see why the smaller fintech solutions are sprouting up all over the place, taking their market share. They have had it too good for too long, and their size has made them too lazy to change.... seemingly a continuous theme I was experiencing for this project. I was soon to find out that the big groups were not the only ones that were going to give me a hard time...enter my friend the demolisher...oh god.
Over 25 years experience in both the private and public sectors o f property
A lover of technology and design that is practical, beautiful and improves the way we live not as a individuals but as a thriving community.